When Is A Fever Too High For A Child?

When Is A Fever Too High For A Child?

A child with a fever – this is one of the scariest things for almost every parent. This holds 100% true in the case of first time moms and dads. It is important to understand that children to suffer from fever at times, even when you are very careful. But you need to know as to when is a fever too high for a child.

When Is A Fever Too High For A Child?

This is one of the most common questions asked by a number of parents. This does depend on the age of the kid and the other symptoms that are associated with fever. Before knowing when to worry, parents first need to know as to what they need to do first when the fever occurs.

Mentioned below are a few tips using which you can accurately measure the temperature of your child.

  • While there are a number of modern thermometers that are available, all you would actually need is a digital thermometer. You really need not try the modern temporal artery scanners.
  • A rectal thermometer is better to check the temperature in young children and in infants. If you find it uneasy, you can feel free to use any device that you might like. For older kids, an oral temperature is a better option. But choose one according to your kid’s tolerance level.

Fever occurs when the body temperature is more than 100.4 F (38.0 C). The normal temperature is 98.6 F (37 C) but it can slightly differ from person to person depending on their age, gender and other conditions.

Now comes the most important question as to when you need to get worried about your kid fever. Let us have a look at some of the situations where you certainly need to call your doctor.

  • If you have an infant whose age is less than 3 months and he/she is suffering from a fever, you need to visit the doctor immediately. Fevers at this age can also occur as a response to various underlying conditions. If your toddler has a fever with no other symptoms, and it is less than 5 days, you really need not worry.
  • If your child has been suffering from fever for more than 5 days, a further investigation is required to check the cause of the same.
  • You also need to see your doctor immediately when you kid has temperature more than 104 F (> 40 C). Temperatures above this are known as unsafe fever temperature for kids.
  • The fever in your child does not come down even after using fever reducers.
  • You also need to observe the behaviour of your child. If you feel that he/she is not acting the way it is supposed to be, you can have a word with your doctor. Some of the symptoms include finding it difficult to rise, or not eating and drinking properly etc. Also, babies need to wet at least 4 diapers in a day and older kids have to urinate one in 8 hours. If not it can lead to dehydration.
  • Your kid can also have a fever if he/she is immunized recently. Then you need to see a doctor if the temperature is about 102º F and has a fever for 2 days or more.
  • You can also go visit a doctor if you feel uncomfortable about the temperature of your kid.
  • You also need to call the doctor if your kid is vomiting and has diarrhea.

(ReadHow To Identify Common Illness in Infants)

What To Do If Fever Too High For A Child?

  • If the temperature of the kid is less than 102 Degrees F you need not worry as the temperature would come down by itself after a day or so. Just make sure that the child gets good rest and he/she takes a lot of fluids.
  • If you observe that the temperature is above 102 degrees and below 105 degrees, you can give the child or the infant formula of acetaminophen. Make sure you follow the dosage instructions given on the bottle. If you are using it for the first time, you can as well have a word with your doctor first.
  • You can also give a sponge bath to your child using lukewarm water as it helps to reduce the temperature. But be careful not to use cold water baths or ice baths.
  • Kids who are below the age of 18 years are not to be given aspirin. An overdose of aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome which is a very dreadful brain disease.
  • If the fever does not come down after a few days, it is better you take your kid to see a doctor.
  • Keep your child hydrated by giving him/her more fluids. You can encourage them to have clear fluids like soups or IQ drinks that are available at the drug store.
  • Do not give tea to a child who is suffering from fever as it causes to lose water from the body via urination and can lead to dehydration.

(ReadNatural Ways To Reduce Fever In Child)

The Follow-up

Make sure that the kid does not go to school for a few days till the fever has completely reduced. Make sure he/she is free of fever for more than 24-48 hours before sending them to daycare of school.

If you feel that the temperature is rising, it is better you see your doctor for further investigation. Though as a parent we cannot control the occurrence of fever. There are certain precautions that can be taken to prevent its occurrence.

  • Always make sure that your kid washes his/her hands with water and mild soap.
  • When sneezing or coughing, make sure that the mouth is covered.
  • Always make sure the hands are clean before handling foods.
  • Include fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet.
  • Make sure they get a good amount of sleep.

Now that we know as to when is a fever too high for a child, it is time we act with patience when the kid is suffering from fever.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sameer Kumar (MBBS, MS, FMAS, DMAS)Obstetrician & Gynecologist